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Friday, January 29, 2010

Keywords, keywords & more about keywords

Without question, if you are involved with anything on the web, you have heard the term "keywords" mentioned more than you care to admit. Although this may be a relatively new word in web-popular lingo, the concepts behind the term are as old as marketing itself.

The popular term "keywords" refers to a list of words or phrases that are important to the description of any given product or service. For purposes of search engine optimization and web site development, these words or phrases are critical to the success and performance of the web site. Simply put, the keywords are those words or phrases that your customers would use to describe you, your products or your services.

Those that work in search engine marketing and optimization have much to say about keywords and many of them act as if this is a new idea. But the reality is, successful companies have always tried to consider the thoughts and actions of the customer. When companies have a handle on what terms and concepts resonate with their customers, their marketing efforts - digital or in print - will be effective and have a high ROI.

So here a few quick tips to develop an effective list of words or phrases that are used to describe your company, your products or your services:
  1. Think like the customer.
    Ask yourself, "What would I look under in the yellow pages, in a search engine, in the classifieds, etc. if I wanted the products or services I provide?". Be honest and avoid any industry lingo unless it is a brand name or very specific description. And ask your employees & close associates to consider the same question.
  2. Think like your newest employee.
    Sometimes it is hard to have a fresh perspective about your products & services when you are right in the heat of the battle. So, why not ask your most recent addition to the team to come up with a list of words. If you are a small business, you can always ask friends, family & close associates to do the same.
  3. Think like the competition.
    It never hurts at this stage of the game to see what the competition is doing. Compare the list you have put together so far with what you see in your competition's advertising, on their website, in their printed materials, etc.

After considering the 3 points above, you can have a great start to an effective list of words or phrases that can help you reach your customers more effectively. The reality of the term "keywords" brings marketing full circle...taking the focus off what you are trying to tell the customer and putting the focus back on giving the customer what they are looking for.